The Council of Ministers of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO, concluded its 38th Session on Monday 15th June 2020 with far reaching decisions on the future of the Organization. The Council of Ministers approved the recommendation to move the temporary Headquarters of the Organization from Abuja, Nigeria to the permanent Headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. It also approved the new Host Country Agreement between the Republic of Congo and APPO, and directed the Secretary General of the Organization, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim to sign it on behalf of APPO. On the effective date of the movement, the Council noted the global lockdowns and restrictions in travels and directed the Secretary General to liaise with the Authorities of Congo on a mutually acceptable date for this relocation. It will be recalled that APPO Headquarters was temporarily moved to Abuja in 2018 when Nigeria assumed the Presidency of APPO with a mandate to execute the approved reform programme of the Organization. In the course of this reform, new Minimum Requirements for the hosting of the APPO Headquarters were approved and the hosting right of the Headquarters was opened to all APPO Member Countries interested to contest. This is how Nigeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and the host country Republic of Congo indicated interest. All the new entrants for the hosting of the headquarters withdrew and left Congo as sole candidate.
A Ministerial delegation visited Brazzaville to evaluate the extent of compliance by Congo with the Minimum Requirements and was pleased with the result, which informed the decision to go back to Brazzaville. The Council of Ministers further took a decision, in view of the global Corona virus pandemic to postpone the planned first ever Summit of the Heads of State and Government of APPO Member Countries earlier scheduled to hold in Brazzaville in 2020, to a date in 2021. Finally, the Council of Ministers, having reviewed the presentation of the Head of Delegation of Libya on the negative impacts of crude oil and petroleum products theft in Libya, especially on the lives of the people and their environment, and recalling UNSC Resolution 2146 banning illicit crude oil exports from Libya, condemned in very strong terms the perpetrators of those nefarious acts and called on the international community to take necessary actions to sanction those perpetrating these criminal actions against the Libyan people and the environment.
Engr. Bakare Traore
APPO Secretariat, Abuja